A 4 week Final Project for a Senior Experience Design Course, project done in a team of 4
Business problem analysis, Main UI and Interaction Developer, Visual Design
for Pier1 Imports
Design Room is a digital platform that assists new home buyers in finding home furniture and interior design inspirations. It provides a personalized experience for young and first-time home buyers by allowing them to create a digital moodboard in order to find their best home style match.
About the Company
Pier 1 imports is known as the largest retailer of imported furniture and home decor products. The brand has a promise on providing decorative inspirations and design guidance both online and in-store to help customers create beautiful and personal spaces in their homes.
To demonstrate Pier 1 Imports' brand promise and the way customers perceive the brand, we created a brand model to predict customer behaviour and set a framework for evaluating the decisions and strategies that will affect the company and customers.
Pier 1 Import's Brand Model
Pier 1 Imports has been experiencing a decline in sales; more specifically, a decline in online sales and profit. In fact, based on Pier 1 Import’s annual reports, this decline in sales started from 2014 and profit margin in Q3 of 2017 has changed by -1.9%.
This decline in sales is due to increased competition in the industry and a failure to capture the need of a new generation of audiences. According to Alasdair James, CEO of Pier 1 Imports, "The real opportunity for us is to speak to the customers that we aren’t speaking to currently and to actually take a smaller share of a new group of customers whilst continuing to talk to our core” (2017).
New Target Audience
But how can Pier 1 Imports meet the need of a new generation of audience while enhancing the experience of its existing customers?
To answer the question, we first researched the strategies of Pier 1 Imports’ competitors to understand how they are engaging their customers. In search for an answer, we further looked into different markets to see what type of users might benefit from Pier 1 Imports and whether or not Pier 1 Imports could offer services for them.
It was in researching the real estate market that we found a new target audience. We found that 34% of home buyers are 36 years and younger, and 66% of these home buyers are first-time home buyers. Additionally, we found out that new home-buyers spend more than $10,000 worth of furniture and appliances in the first year after buying a new home. Thus, we decided to target the young first-time home buyers and create a digital platform within Pier 1 Imports in order to help them design and create their perfect home.
Area of Intervention
With the increase in new furniture styles and home decor trends in today's furniture retail industry, furniture shopping can become an overwhelming or frustrating process. To address this issue and in order to find an area of intervention for Pier 1 Imports, we created a customer journey framework to understand where the company is failing to meet the needs of its customers, in addition to the possible frictions new home-buyers might have.
We found out that in the engagement phase, Pier 1 Imports' online customers, experience frictions such as: accessing design inspirations, finding what they are looking for in an efficient way, keeping up with trends and learning about different home styles.
moodboard is a way to visually map how you want a room to feel and look like, to harness good ideas and built upon them